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Angelica Belen pleads guilty to child neglect resulting in death charges

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Angelica Belen, the mother charged with three counts of child neglect resulting in death after three of her four children died in a house fire at 77th and Hicks in West Allis on April 11th, pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 25th.

Five-year-old Nayeli Colon and her brothers, four-year-old twins Adrian and Alexis, died in that fire. The children were locked in an upstairs bedroom while their mother, Angelica Belen, was at work.

Belen now faces felony charges of child neglect.

Belen wiped tears from her face in court on Thursday, July 25th.

Newly-released reports say Belen initially told police her sister was supposed to be babysitting — and she never locked her kids in the room. But later, she said those were lies.

Reports also reveal prior complaints made to the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare about Belen’s parenting. The complaint says the “home was reported to be filthy,” “the children have been seen eating out of the garbage,” and Belen was seen “leaving her three children alone at home.”

The family had been meeting with an in-home case manager once a week. During a visit in February they “discussed proper supervision and how the children should, under no circumstances, be left alone.”

Belen eventually admitted to police that she locked her children in the room because she didn’t want them to hurt themselves or start a fire. She also said she was “afraid that they may get outside and cause the police or social services to be called.”

Before the fire, Belen was facing six charges of child neglect for allegedly leaving her children home alone and in a car in a parking lot.

Belen’s sentencing is set for September.

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